City of the Week : Anchorage, Alaska
By Cristiana Dias
It was 150 years ago, in 1867, that the United States made the Alaska Purchase, buying the Alaskan territory from the Russians for $7.2 million. In order to commemorate the 150th anniversary, the Alaska Historical Society has created numerous events to celebrate the 49th American state; the list being available on its website. Not only can you try and find the events taking place in Anchorage itself to celebrate this occasion, but there are so many other things to do in this great city.
The city of Anchorage is Alaska’s most populated city. In the summer, Anchorage gets about 20 hours of daylight, with temperatures up to the low 70s, whereas in the winter, daylight typically only lasts for 7 hours, with temperatures that tend not to surpass the mid 20s.
Nature lovers won’t ever get bored in Anchorage, seeing as though it is home to over 60 glaciers and numerous national parks. In order to see the most of Anchorage, travelers can opt for the Turnagain Arm Tour, which departs from Anchorage and goes alongside the Turnagain Arm, a narrow body of water. The tour covers the Seward Highway and stops at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, as well as Beluga Point and the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, where you can access Potter Marsh for wildlife viewing. Right off of the Seward Highway is Chugach State Park, perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, ATVing, and kayaking. Another great trail is the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which is an 11-mile hike or bike to Kincaid Park, a 1400 acre forest, home to Anchorage’s largest moose population. You can also travel to other parts of Alaska via the Alaska Railroad, or you could just look out for its signature train while visiting Anchorage.
For tourists looking to discover the history of Anchorage, they should visit the Anchorage Museum, which goes into the art, history, science, and ecology of Anchorage. Visitors can also head to the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn more about the indigenous people of Anchorage. Summer travelers can check out the Oscar Anderson House Museum which features one of the oldest houses in Anchorage.
No matter the time, Anchorage is a fantastic city to discover for adventurous travelers, but thanks to the sesquicentennial anniversary, wanderlusters have all the more reason to consider it as a destination for their next trip.